Attendance now a bigger piece of the ‘pie’ for Exeter students

Exeter Unified begins new weekly challenge rewarding classes with 100% attendance on Zoom with a possible pizza party

EXETER – The Exeter Unified School District (EUSD) is using pizza to motivate students to attend school. Superintendent George Eddy has created a pizza challenge across the entire district, as classes who have 100% attendance on Zoom will be entered into a drawing for a free personal pizza.

Every day that a class has perfect attendance during the weekly contest, their name is entered into a drawing. One class per school site is chosen which earns every student and the teacher a free personal pizza to be delivered by Superintendent Eddy, the school’s principal, or another district administrator. If a class has perfect attendance multiple days in the week, then they’ll be entered into the drawing multiple times. That way if a student misses a day, they’ll still have a chance to help their class get entered into the drawing. If a winning class maintains their perfect attendance, then they will continue to be entered and can win more than once.

The pizzas are delivered every Wednesday for the previous week’s winners. Throughout the six schools in the district, approximately 120 classes qualified for last week’s pizza delivery. One class was chosen from each school and the district delivered 103 pizzas from Kirkman’s VIP Pizza. Out of those 103 deliveries, only one student wasn’t at home to personally accept the reward. In addition to incentivizing students to attend school via Zoom, the challenge grants administrators a new opportunity to connect with students.

“There were so many situations that students were waiting outside for us to get there and get them their pizza. We hadn’t seen them in so long, so it was good for the staff members to see some of our students,” Eddy said. “Usually when we make home visits it is negative because students aren’t coming to school. So making a home visit on a positive note is a plus.”

EUSD is planning to continue this pizza challenge until students are back in school. Their Zoom attendance numbers has been pretty consistent with attendance from previous years, so this challenge will help to maintain that. According to Deputy Superintendent Melanie Stringer, it will also help serve as a good reminder to administrators as to why the work they do is so important.

“Sometimes as administrative staff, you miss being able to see students every day. Seeing their faces when they got those pizzas was a positive reminder for our staff that we’re doing this for them,” Stringer said.

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